There’s a Hammer meets Harlequin vibe running through Michael J. Lee’s My Frankenstein, a gothic romance novel with strong horror elements.
In a bucolic nineteenth century valley, a young woman named Eva feels at odds with her surroundings. Well read and endlessly curious about the outside world of artists and inventors, of miraculous machines and steel bridges, she is fearful that her life might dwindle away unrealized if she can't escape her simple harvest-centric surroundings. Complicating matters, she is desperately in love with a local hunk Rolfe, only to see him marry her best friend, Heidi.
Eva wears her unrequited heart with dignity, until a new flame enters her world in the person of the dashing, moneyed Baron Viktor — with a ‘k” — Frankenstein, who manifests interest in both her mind and her body.
Frankenstein’s mad plan is to reclaim his family’s abandoned castle, dig mines and build a foundry to supply a gigantic manufacturing laboratory. Getting to the Good Stuff in a hurry, within a few pages, the peaceful farming valley is transformed into a hellish industrial landscape with spewing chimneys, a railroad and an ugly mineshaft where the once contended locals now toil miserably. Soon, deaths multiply, reanimation follows, and Eva encounters a stitched-up Adam. The book's Baron, evoking Peter Cushing's ruthless and cruel Frankenstein, proves to be a right bastard.
Author Lee follows the rules of the romance formula with its blushing heroines and their secret yearnings, stolen kisses and broken hearts, but he also injects scenes of grim horror as the story rushes to its climax. He pulls it off, but the collision of genres might be startling to some readers. Fans of the Paranormal Romance genre should feel right at home.
The atmospheric cover by Frauke Spanuth is straight Gothic Romance with nary a suggestion of monsters and body parts.
My Frankenstein is available now for download as an inexpensive ebook.